Monday, June 30, 2014

Community's Second Return From the Grave: "How Is Seezun Formed?"

Come on guys, it'll be just like when it's on know, once we Photoshop out the people that have left...

Well, I didn't see this one coming...

The news broke earlier today. After NBC decided to let the low in ratings, high in fan loyalty comedy Community go out to pasture, it was given another shot at life. Yes, after facing its potential termination at the end of its third season, and now again with its fifth, the show is once again given a shot at fulfilling its mythical 'six seasons and a movie' (a line, ironically, originally attributed to the superhero series The Cape, which has long since been forgotten by many...I'll admit it, I didn't think the show was as bad as it was made out to be so much as mismarketed.)

This time the resurrection wasn't born of NBC having a change of heart. Rather the fact the series has been picked up by Yahoo of all people. Yes, alongside the search engine that wouldn't die and an email service that people surprisingly still use, Yahoo saw the opportunity to use the series as its flagship to launch their own line of comedy programming.

 I feel somewhat torn here.

My feelings towards Community in general have been somewhat mixed up over the past couple of years. I got into the series mid-way into season two and loved it. I still find the first three seasons VERY watchable. When it was announced the show might not be back at the end of season three, while I was disappointed, I was still okay with it. Especially since the third season had a finale that genuinely felt like a good place to end on. At the time, as far as they were concerned, they weren't coming back, so that season finale was made and treated as a series finale. In that regard, it's a pretty emotionally satisfying note to send things off on.

Then season four happened.

Season four was a turning point for a LOT of fans. Thanks to NBC's decision to oust showrunner Dan Harmon, there was a good deal of conflict among fans of the season. Some shunned it outright in loyalty to Harmon. Of those that gave it a shot, many were altogether disappointed by it. The new showrunners made a decent effort, but it was hard not to feel like they were trying too hard to please the fans and a lot of it just

Then season five came and, to everyone's surprise, Harmon returned to the fold. Even more surprising was the fact that he was able to get cast member Chevy Chase-who had left the previous season after a pretty dark blowout with the writers- to come back and give his character a proper sendoff (or as proper as Community gets, anyway.)

The season itself wasn't bad, actually. There were a few unusual choices made, such as having to work with the fact Donald Glover chose to leave the series, and dealing with the fact that Joel McHale's Jeff Winger had graduated at the end of the previous season lead to them bringing him back as a teacher. At the same time, the landscape had changed. It wasn't really anyone's fault. It was just amid the show's several dances with death, some people moved on and each season was left with the hanging belief that it would be the last.

How many times can you really end a show before it's at last time to call it quits?

I know Harmon's committed himself to the 'six seasons and a movie' cut-off, and at least it's down to the last season, but it's hard for me to get as enthusiastic as I once would have.

I'm definitely happy for everyone to have the work- though I hope this won't interfere with Harmon's work on Rick and Morty, a show that I can honestly say is one of the best new series I've seen in a long while based on its first season. In fact, I hope they're able to see it through for the sake of being able to see it through. Though I DO wonder how Yahoo's production budget will fare compared to what they were working with from NBC.

It's more just the fact that, after seeing the show die and come back enough times, I think I just sort of drifted. I don't dislike it, and I'll probably give the sixth season its due when the time comes, but I guess I feel like I got my closure at the end of season three. Anything good after this is more like bonus content. I like it, but the story's already ended for me.

But I digress, that's just my thoughts on this.

If nothing else, I'm at least feeling more optimistic about Harmon's commitment to his listed shelf life than I am about Benioff and Weiss being able to bring Game of Thrones in for a landing in seven seasons like they're swearing.

Best of luck to everyone involved, and in the unlikely event Harmon is reading this: again, great work on Rick and Morty so far, hoping to see you working with Roiland on season two!

Till next time.

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